Per the United States Centers for Disease Control:
- Use fine-tipped (pointy) tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
- Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
- After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
- Dispose of a live tick by submersing it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet. Never crush a tick with your fingers.
Quoted directly from: http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/removing_a_tick.html
The pointy tweezers are essential because blunt-tipped tweezers can crush the tick before removal, potentially spreading infection through the mouth parts.
The CDC recommends against methods that rely on irritating the tick into detaching on its own, such as using heat or “painting” the tick with nail polish, petroleum jelly, or detergent. They are not as reliable and take longer. The goal is to get the tick detached ASAP.
You can use a custom device instead of pointy tweezers if you wish.